Oppo files patents for smartphone that folds four times, has under-display camera

Oppo has not yet launched its foldable smartphone but the launch plan may still be active. The Chinese company has filed four different patents showing an interesting design of what could be Oppo’s next foldable phone. The smartphone, as seen in these patents, could fold not once or twice but four times, forming a block when folded for the last time. Existing folding smartphones from Samsung and Motorola are capable of folding once from the center, vertically or horizontally. Oppo is taking a different approach to this mechanism which is more like the way you fold a sheet.

The patents were filed by Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Pvt. Ltd. with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) in May. But these were approved by the body and posted on the website on November 2, when Oppo’s plans came to light. The design is extraordinarily interesting but there is another aspect that these patents have confirmed. Oppo could pack an under-display camera on this device because there is none to be seen in any of the patent images.

The images from one of the patents show that there will be two hinges on the phone that are clearly taller than most smartphones available on the market. The phone has a chunky bottom with a dual camera setup and an LED flash. This device folds inwards which also means that the back surface is hollow because it would be a part of the folded portions. Since there are two hinges, the smartphone can be folded in half or completely.

Another patent shows the device with two hinges but six blocks. But there is a triple camera setup on the back surface of the device along with the LED flash. This is the opposite of the configuration suggested by the above patent. Furthermore, the patent shows that the device can fold both inward and outward – the top folds in and the bottom folds out. Once folded, the Oppo device will turn into a block.

There are two other patents filed by Oppo. One of them shows two hinges and eight blocks, along with triple cameras. This only folds inward. Another patent shows the design where the Oppo device has the same two hinges and eight blocks but without a visible camera. This model should have a camera under the display. This device will fold in both directions, according to the patent.

Oppo hasn’t launched a foldable smartphone yet while its rivals including Samsung are thriving in the foldable market.

News Underline:

  • Oppo has filed four patents to showcase its foldable phone designs.
  • Only of these four designs will be finalized if Oppo decides to make the device.
  • One of the drawings shows a device with a camera below the display.